Construction & Waste Management
Construction can be a messy business. Sometimes knowing what to do with all this mess can be confusing and the temptation to just chuck it all in a landfill can rise when the waste does.
UK construction makes up 35% of waste, filling up 36 million tonnes of landfill. Those numbers are only rising and it makes you wonder how long we’ve left of our landfills. This isn’t doing the earth any good, it affects the environment and spreads pollution and disease. We need better waste management amongst companies and individuals within the construction business. With the biggest proportion of waste coming from this industry it seems important to start controlling and managing the waste as soon as possible. Many other countries have already implicated methods that have cut down their landfill waste by 80-90%. Proving that waste management works.
Not only does waste management help the earth but it can also benefit the industry and the individual companies. Especially now with landfill taxes coming in, this is the time to become more concerned with waste. Some instant benefits from waste management are:
-Instant reuse. Recyclable materials at hand.
-Lower disposal costs
-No waste transportation costs
-The reputation of an eco-friendly company
But where do you start with waste management. As stated before, construction can create a lot of waste. What you should be aiming for is a zero waste to landfill policy. How do you manage the waste?
A lot of waste can come from over buying materials. While some may say this is just being prepared, it can mean having materials that are never used. By buying only what you need and accurately ordering, you’re already cutting down waste before you’re in the yard.
Make sure your storage areas are safe and weather proof. Damage to materials just ends with them in a landfill. The same goes for materials that are damaged in delivery, reject them. Let them be reused elsewhere.
Buying materials that are already recycled could be cost effective and earth effective. Consider the companies you’re buying from. Do they use recycled materials? How about recyclable packaging? If you can recycle everything it’s your step towards a zero waste construction.
Keep the site organised and tidy to ensure no accidental waste, throwing out materials causing re buying for example.
Recycling is a huge part of waste management and even big scale construction sites can do their bit to recycle. A way to do this is through waste segregation. This is separating out waste into a different sections. If the space is there this could include several different skips. For wood, plastics, mixed materials, inert waste and metals. If space is an issue that can’t be avoided and the cost of skips too much, there are other ways to separate waste through a tidy site and organisation. There are companies that specialise in waste management that a construction company can hire who will search through waste and find the recyclable materials. However doing it yourself could mean better results.